News

Wonga drive-in a going concern

Gary King at his beloved Wonga Drive In.
Gary King at his beloved Wonga Drive In. Craig Warhurst

WONGA Drive-in owner Gary King is hopeful the dream business he built up and very nearly had paid off will be sold as a going concern.

Mr King spoke to The Gympie Times yesterday and confirmed he had declared bankruptcy but emphasised it had nothing to do with the performance of the drive-in.

“I had no choice … it certainly wasn’t the performance of the drive-in, it was performing quite well,” Mr King said.

He said it was the debt owed on the Sovereign Cinema that had been the final straw.

“The Sovereign Cinema debt killed us… that wasn’t all the problems – the low attendance and then the bank wouldn’t help us in any way.

“We spent over $300,000 renovating the cinema and the bank sold off the assets for $50,000.”

Despite figures showing an upward trend initially, the cinema was hit hard by the brunt of last year’s recession.

“Unfortunately the recession happened when we finished the renovation … the budget did blow out (but) no-one had spent anything on the cinema in 17 years.”

He said the attitude of the bank was completely unhelpful to him trading his way through.

“I tried to do the right thing by Gympie but it didn’t go my way.”

The drive-in continued to prove popular but he said that in the end it was subsidising the cinema.

“I desperately didn’t want to have the drive in closed … once I declared bankruptcy it was in the hands of the bank.”

Mr King said he appreciated the support the Wonga Drive-in received from patrons.

“People were really supporting the drive-in and it was helping us. Now I’ve lost everything.”

He said someone was looking at buying the drive-in as a going concern.

“There is one person who is interested in it. I’m hoping it will be sold as a going concern. Everything is there to start operating it again.”

Gympie Times



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

$400 million contract will help secure 200 jobs

UNITED FRONT: Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders joined Downer EDI workers rallying for more company contracts to safeguard jobs.

Maryborough's Downer EDI to benefit from maintenance work

Walk or run, it’s all for good in Mother’s Day Classic

Pink-garbed walkers take on the Mother's Day Classic.

Take mum on a walk or run for a good cause

5 reasons Gympie is not a 'bogan' town

Five reasons Gympie is not a 'bogan' town

We set the record straight about why Gympie is not a 'bogan' town.

Latest deals and offers

Federal Police Defuse Dance Bomb

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

NSW Police join Dance Challenge

NSW Police show their moves at Manly Wharf.

Manly Wharf is the backdrop to NSW Police running-man dance entry.

Scotland Police accept Dance Challenge

NZ Police doing the running man dance.

Australian Federal Police say watch this space but NT Police feel ignored.

Gympie trumps Fraser Coast in new housing developments

The scorecard is out - Gympie has come up trumps compared to Wide Bay in terms of new housing development.

Gympie trumps Fraser Coast in new housing developments

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog